Fighting for the pen: FATA elders slam rationalisation, privatisation of schools

Jirga says these policies are like another FCR, but for education


Zulfiqar Ali April 04, 2016
PHOTO: EXPRESS

DI KHAN: The FATA Taleem Islahi jirga held a demonstration on Monday against the rationalisation and privatisation of government schools in the tribal areas and Frontier Regions. The protest included social activists and teachers from across the tribal region.

Participants gathered in front of DI Khan Press Club where they were addressed by politicians and activists.

Reducing schools

“Hundreds of educational institutions in the region were destroyed in bomb blasts by militants.” The government should rebuild these destroyed schools instead of closing them down under the rationalisation and privatisation policy,” said Ayaz Wazir, a former ANP candidate for the NA-41 (South Waziristan Agency) seat. “There is no hope for change without education and the youth will be drawn towards terrorism in its absence,” he added.

“The rationalisation and privatisation policy is like an FCR for education. It will deprive a new generation,” said FATA Islahi Jirga Chairperson Atlas Khan Sherani. “Fata’s people are facing difficulty and are mostly displaced from their homes. In such a situation, there is no need for such irrational policies,” added Sherani.

He pointed out the rate of education was already low in Fata and there was a dire need for more educational institutions.

The protestors warned of continuing protests against the policy, adding they could even take the matter to the courts. Others who addressed the gathering included FATA Islahi Jirga General Secretary Abdullah Bittani, Noor Din, Khair Muhammad,  Abdullah Shah and Muhammad Gul Bittani.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2016.

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